Orthognathic Jaw Surgery

Orthognathic surgery, also referred to as jaw surgery, is required when the upper and lower jaws don’t meet correctly, or when teeth don’t align with the jaw.  Teeth may be straightened with orthodontics, while corrective jaw surgery may reposition misaligned jaws.  This not only improves facial appearance, but also ensures that teeth meet and function properly.

Who Could Benefit?

Patients who benefit from orthognathic surgery include those with an improper bite, or jaws that are positioned incorrectly.  Jaw growth is a gradual process and in some cases, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates.  The result can be a host of problems that impact chewing function, speech, long-term oral health and facial esthetics.  Injury to the jaw, as well as birth defects, can also affect jaw alignment.  Orthodontics alone can correct bite problems when only the teeth are involved.  Orthognathic surgery is implemented when repositioning of the jaw is necessary.

An evaluation may be beneficial if the following difficulties occur:

Chewing, biting or swallowing
Speech problems
Chronic jaw or TMJ pain
Open bite
Protruding jaw
Breathing problems

Many of these symptoms can exist at birth, be acquired later in life as the result of hereditary or environmental influences, or as a result of facial trauma.  

Before any treatment is initiated, a consultation is scheduled to complete an examination including x-rays.  During this pre-treatment consultation, you have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding treatment.  Once you are fully informed about the aspects of your care, you and your dental team can make a decision regarding treatment together.